At least two zones of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have called on Nigerians to hold the Federal Government accountable if the body of university lecturers goes on strike again.
The union’s Abuja and Bauchi zones stated this on Tuesday, accusing the government of failing to implement the agreement signed with the lecturers in December 2020.
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ASUU went on strike in March 2020 as a result of its disagreement with the Federal Government over university funding, the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, the implementation of the University Transparency Accountability Solution, funding and revitalization of public universities, earned academic allowances, promotion arrears, and renegotiation of the 2009 agreement.
ASUU met with the Federal Government several times about the UTAS and other issues, which were approved by the government with the promise of prompt implementation.
The government’s assurance of implementation, accompanied by the signing of a Memorandum of Action, resulted in the strike being called off on December 24, 2020, after the Federal Government also agreed to exclude ASUU members from the IPPIS.
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However, ASUU has been urging the government for several weeks to fulfill the agreements contained in the Memorandum of Action that it signed with the union.
As a result, the union’s Abuja zone, at its congress on Tuesday, accused the Federal Government of breaking promises and warned that such an action could spark new strikes in the country’s universities.
The Federal University of Lafia, Nasarawa State; the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State; Nasarawa State University, Keffi; Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, Niger State; and the University of Abuja are all part of the zone.
Because of the government’s attitude toward the agreements, the union stated that it could no longer guarantee industrial harmony in public universities.
Dr Salahu Lawal, the zonal coordinator, made the announcement at a press conference in Abuja.
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Lawal urged Nigerians and parents with children enrolled in public universities to hold the government accountable for the consequences of the MoA’s non-implementation.
“Recall that our union signed a Memorandum of Action with the government, leading to the suspension of the 2020 strike action in February 2021, but almost nine months later, ASUU is once again calling on the government to keep its promises to the Nigerian people on the immediate deployment of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution,” he said.
ASUU: The government has broken its promises
“The government, as it has always done, has broken its promises to the union and the nation, a development that could lead to another round of university strikes.
“As a result, we demand the immediate implementation of all outstanding provisions in the FGN/ASUU Memorandum of Action of February 7, 2021; the immediate deployment of ASUU’s innovation of a more robust system of human resource management and compensation known as the UTAS; and the immediate payment of outstanding earned academic allowances to our members.
“We also demand full implementation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement, as renegotiated in 2021 based on the ILO’s collective bargaining principle; immediate action on the report of the presidential visitation panels to federal universities; and immediate action on the committee on state universities’ recommendations.
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“We urge all Nigerians to hold the Federal Government accountable if the union decides to launch another industrial action as a result of the MoA’s non-implementation.”
Lawal went on to say that signing the draft renegotiated 2009 agreement into law, as well as releasing revitalization funds to public universities, would address the deplorable conditions in which students live and learn.
“ASUU has long exposed to both the government and Nigerians the dilapidated state of infrastructure on our campuses, which has been the bane of research activities in our universities,” he said.
“Our request for immediate action in this regard has been acknowledged.”